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BST starts on Arran. Aye Right!
by trekpete » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:24 pm
Corbetts included on this walk: Goat Fell
Date walked: 01/04/20135 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Hills:Goatfell & Mullach Buidhe
Present: Richie and myself
Weather: Overcast start but steadily improving to bright sunshine
Distance: 6.76mls approx.
Ascent 3326ft approx.
Walking:4hrs. 1min Loafing:3hrs 16mins
Goatfell was my 3rd ever hillwalking trip way back in 1997. I have made several other ascents over the years including 2 winter ascents, one in December 2009 with no snow and again in January 2010 with plenty of snow but clag ruined the views. So it was with fingers crossed my friend Ritchie and myself set off for my 7th ascent with a forecast of wall to wall sunshine on the first day of British Summer Time.
Looking good so far. That clag should soon burn off, I hope!
Approaching Brodick for 8am.
Normally I get off the ferry and walk round to the starting point rather than take the bus. That means the crowds are normally away and I have a quiet ascent without listening to the noise large groups generate. The ferry today was empty with only one other walking heading for the bus so we took the easy option and hopped on. The other walker was heading for Glen Sannox so we had the path to ourselves from the Brewery.
Heading up through the forest.
New bridge since I was last by here.
Out of the shelter of forest we were catching a cold wind now. There was a fair amount of frozen snow in Coire nam Meann but the ascent is gentle enough not to need crampons yet. Whoever made the first ascent after the heavy snowfall last week must have had a tough time of it as the footprints were thigh deep in places. One point of concern just now was the lack of wall to wall sunshine though .
Goatfell from Coire nam Meann.
Back to Brodick Bay.
When we reached the East ridge we had a short stop for a bite to eat and get the ironmongery unpacked ready for the steeping ascent ahead. The wind was really Baltic now and I was forced to get my thicker winter gloves on as my fingers were going numb in my thin pair that I normally manage with.
Starting up the East ridge.
Across Coire Lan to Mullach Buidhe out 2nd target for the day.
Looking down into Coire nam Meann.
Richie adopts his best man leg pose .
On the final steep ascent to the summit. Snow was perfect for crampons.
And suddenly you reach the summit. It was as cold as it looks folks.
So bloody cold I was forced to don another layer to keep warm as soon as we topped out. But we were in a world of joy as the views across to the other summits on Arran were breath taking in their winter cloak. Despite the lack of sunshine it was still bright and I was well happy with my choice of hill today .
Let the posing begin .
Looking across to Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail.
Wonderful panoramic backdrop for a pose.
Richies photo of me taking in the view.
A few more from the summit.
Looking down the South ridge to Brodick.
Just as we were getting ready to leave we got a shaft of sunlight for a few seconds.
It was time to tackle the North ridge now. I have done this route several times in summer conditions but this was looking much more of an interesting challenge today in its heavy winter coat .
Richie heading down the ridge.
Not often you get to pose on a snowy ridge with the sea as a backdrop .
Awesome view as we made our descent on the ridge. Spot Richie further down.
Richie took a couple of shots of me on the descent.
We reached the first rock castle and followed the footprints to the top only to find nobody had found a safe way down the other side. A quick backtrack onto the ridge and we met walker who was heading for Glen Sannox in the morning coming the other way on a bypass path on the East side. A quick exchange of words and we continued on our way with some serious exposure on our right.
Looking back up to Goatfell from the next castle. Spot the other walker near the summit.
The next short while was spent walking and scrambling over or around the other castles on the crest of the ridge. This was pretty breath taking stuff and was certainly not what is commonly referred to as hillwalking. The buzz from this was immense .
The last castle is the largest and has a good down climb at the other end. Most of the footprints dropped down the west side where there is an easy bypass in summer conditions. It was not so easy today as it was a steep snow covered slope which was going to have to be negotiated to get past the castle. There were a couple of sets of footprints going over the top but we were unsure about the down climb so down we went with an increase in the heart rate and a tightening of buttocks accompanied with the satisfying noise of ice axes being thrust in to the snow pack .
Richie on his way down.
I gingerly followed him down then stopped to watch him traverse across the slope to some rocks. It was quite a spectacular spot to be today for sure. The photos really don’t do the scenario any justice at all. We were also out of the biting wind now and with the sun now beating down we were getting cooked with all our layers on.
What a place to be on the first day of summertime .
I set off down to join him, taking a slightly different line kicking steps as I went and thrusting the axe well into the snow to steady myself. This was without a shadow of a doubt turning into the best winter adventure for several years I was telling myself while holding my breath and posing for the camera Richie was pointing in my direction .
The debris on the slope had been caused by previous walkers.
A look back from the safety of the rocks.
With the bum cheeks now in a much more natural position we set about the easier climb back up to the ridge . Still steep going mind you.
Richie almost back on the ridge.
With me close behind.
Cir Mhor bathed in sunshine.
Back on the ridge and the wind was still just as Baltic despite the sunshine. We decided just to bypass North Goatfell and make straight for Mullach Buidhe.
Approaching North Goatfell.
Traversing below North Goatfell the snow was a good bit softer in the sun but still requiring the use of the ironmongery just in case.
Mullach Buidhe and Corrie Lan.
Looking across the top of Coire nam Fuaran to Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail.
Heading up Mullach Buidhe.
Mullach Buidhe’s east ridge leading down to Am Binnein.
Goatfell and the North ridge.
Arrans mountains really are the business are they not .
If anything it was even colder here than on Goatfell itself, so we did not hang around too long taking photos. Even forgot to get a summit pose of myself before we backtracked to descend into Coire Lan.
Goatfell and North Goatfell.
Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail.
Descending in to Coire Lan.
As we were making our way down we could see several groups of walkers making their way up to Goatfell on the East ridge. Most were just heading down the same way but one group of 3 took the North ridge and we watched with interest as the made their over the ground we had been on earlier. We were soon in to soft snow and the ironmongery stowed away as well as a layer as it was getting a good bit warmer the lower we got.
I took a good few photos looking back to Goatfell on the way down.
If you look carefully you can see the 3 walkers on the ridge.
We were slowly descending in to spring like conditions now.
We were down at Corrie around 3.30pm with 30mins to spare before the bus to take us back to Brodick. Bus arrived dead on time at 4pm and deposited us back at Brodick just as the ferry started boarding.
A beautiful night as we departed.
Video from the day Captures the mood better than the photos I think.
Wow! What a blinder of a day out. One which I am sure Richie and myself will never forget and all future outings will be judged against and I think it will be a long while before I get a day like this again on Arran.
by tomyboy73 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:54 pm
by Fudgie » Wed May 01, 2013 11:06 am
by lomondwalkers » Wed May 01, 2013 12:56 pm
by dooterbang » Wed May 01, 2013 6:00 pm
Great set of photos and has me wishing I'd popped over when the snow was still around.
Glad to see that you out do me with the posing
by Graeme D » Wed May 01, 2013 9:51 pm
You'll have to excuse me now - I have to go and lie down in a dark room!
by Phil the Hill » Fri May 03, 2013 2:29 pm
by sarahhowardstone » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:19 pm